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What do you normally patch velocity to?
MUFF WIGGLER Forum Index -> Modular Synth General Discussion  
Author What do you normally patch velocity to?
So I got a new module today that generates melodies .. and, among other things, it has a velocity out. I haven't messed yet with velocity from my midi->cv interface .. and it got me to wondering. If I'm normally patching a gate signal to an envelope that ultimately controls a VCA.. what would I patch velocity to? It seems like velocity would have some say in what the VCA outputs, too. hmmm..... Sure, I can patch it to other random things, but what would the typical usage of it be?

What do you use velocity for, if anything?
Clock rate smile

Some conventional applications: decay time, depth of a reverb effect, filter cut off amount, voltage mirrored so that lighter presses are very narrow pulsewidth, etc.
delay time
Dave Peck
Velocity is typically used to impart dynamics (notes being played 'harder/louder' vs 'softer/quieter'.

So to do that, you would route it to control volume:

Patch your audio signal through an additional VCA added at the end of the signal chain. Set the VCA initial gain part way open. Patch VEL to the VCA's CV input. Turn up the CV amount. By playing with the initial gain and CV amount controls, you can set how much or how little the VEL signal affects the volume.

Or you would route VEL to a spare filter CV input.

Or a particularly useful way to route it is to pass your ADSR signal through the AUDIO input & output of a spare VCA (yes, you are patching a CV signal through the audio in & out), again with the VCA initial gain part way up, and patch VEL to the VCA's CV input. This causes the vel to control the height of the ADSR's control voltage signal. More vel = higher ADSR voltage level. Now you patch the VCA's output (the vel-controlled ADSR CV signal) to a filter CV input, a VCA that controls the volume of each note, etc.
Thank you all for the suggestions! Just what I needed to hear. we're not worthy
If you have a keyboard with velocity out, try patching it to the pitch input of an oscillator. You'll hear how imprecise your control of dynamics is!
oberdada wrote:
If you have a keyboard with velocity out, try patching it to the pitch input of an oscillator. You'll hear how imprecise your control of dynamics is!

Cool patch idea! I like using addressable sequencers as quantizers for this reason especially if patching FM depth control.
Rex Coil 7
I think of velocity as the MIDI synth's version of "control voltage". Clever designers and engineers have put velocity to very good use in various synths and drum/rhythm machines.

Since MIDI synths don't actually have a "control voltage", velocity may be used (and IS used) as that missing control signal that voltage controlled synths/devices have the luxury of putting to use.

Perhaps think thusly.

thumbs up
Snappy answer: a mult.

More serious answer: I like to patch velocity to multiple things, so as to get various forms of expression. Some examples:

Filter resonance
VCA level
Specific OSC level
Specific OSC shaping (if available)
Specific synced OSC frequency
Noise level
Noise decay
Drive level (sometimes through an inverter so that softer tones are fluffier while louder are clearer).

... you get the idea. But it's not just louder/softer, it's tonal modification.
Just me
Velocity out to comparator. At above set point, send flip flop signal to sequencer start run.
With the standard routing to the filter or VCA you can also route to their corresponding envelopes instead.

Some of my other go-to destinations:

Effect depth (pos or neg)
Delay rate or reverb length
Sustain on shorter sustain patches
double post - doh.
Typically velocity is patched to VCA & Filter cutoff, because with most instruments, louder also means brighter. Velocity modulating a low pass gate will have similar effect.

Envelope decay and release levels will also naturally lengthen with notes played harder.

With some instruments (like a clavinet or a drum head) when you 'dig in to' a note (play it hard), you get an initial detune. That can be achieved by velocity modulating a short -ve pitch envelope.

Velocity modulating delay feedback and / or mix is also pretty cool - the harder the note is played, the greater the number of repeats, and / or volume of repeats.

So many possibilities!
I have been using the velocity of my Keystep on the blend of Clouds lately and feedback time of a simple delay.

Great suggestions in this tread. Will have to try some of these mentions as well.
My VCAs (Doepfer) have more than one CV input; Velocity goes to one of the CV inputs, alongside the envelope generator's input. The mapping is most sensible on an exponentially controlled VCA, but I've also done it on the linear one.

Of course, that's just the most basic and obvious use of velocity; others here have suggested many more creative uses.
Is this a trick question? I typically patch velocity to the velocity inputs on my 292e's to dynamically control amplitude and frequency with velocity voltages.
I think it would be fun to patch velocity to a filter cut off so the harder you hit it the brighter it is. Seems intuitive to me!
To add to the plethora of good answers:

I usually use velocity to mod a parameter on full voice modules (like elements) in some way that makes the sound brighter. So one the sequencer I am presently using the velocity out is a gate -> any envelope -> mutable elements brightness. Of course, it's modular so you can route it to anything you like and therein lies the fun.
Homepage Englisch
Just me wrote:
Velocity out to comparator. At above set point, send flip flop signal to sequencer start run.


Comparator for the win. Instead of "legato" or "retrigger" modes you can have anything in between. Set the threshold to a desired level and connect comparator to filter envelope or something. Press a key, you hear a note. Press another key but harder, envelope will retrigger.
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